Oncology for the rhinologist

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2024 Feb 1;32(1):14-19. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000951. Epub 2023 Dec 6.


Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to summarize current evidence regarding the use of induction chemotherapy for a variety of histopathologies of sinonasal malignancy (SNMs) and to review the potential adverse effects of cytotoxic agents.

Recent findings: Historically, patients with locally advanced SNMs have had relatively poor prognoses and high morbidity from treatment. The available retrospective data suggests that induction chemotherapy may improve outcomes for patients with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), neuroendocrine carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SSCC), and esthesioneuroblastoma. For SNUC and SSCC, response or nonresponse to induction chemotherapy may prognosticate outcomes and for SNUC specifically, drive selection of definitive therapy. In chemosensitive pathologies, induction chemotherapy appears to improve organ preservation.

Summary: Induction chemotherapy may improve functional and oncologic outcomes for patients with SNMs. Because of the rarity of these pathologies, the available data is primarily retrospective. Future randomized, prospective studies should be performed to further optimize and elucidate the role of induction chemotherapy for SNMs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Maxillary Sinus Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma